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"...bear with me, OK, just a little longer, I'm almost there. Just a few more impressive poses and 3D lighting effects, maybe a lens flare or two just for kicks. Ooh, did you see that? Wow, I'm cool."
Cloud in Eight Bit Theater, demonstrating his time-consuming summon abilities to Fighter (asleep by this point).

An attack animation in which the Rule of Cool is applied in excess, making it just too dang long.

It can be seen sometimes in video games. The Big Bad launches an attack that takes several minutes to land, and it's not plot related. It's just there to show just how awesome the game is.

Another aspect of these is that they tend to show truly apocalyptic levels of destruction, but the environment will be perfectly fine afterward, and casting the spell more than once is usually no problem either. This can be justified by taking the spell's effects to be metaphorical or spiritual, but this doesn't always hold up.

In some cases, those animations can't be even canceled, becoming a nuisance, and disturbing gameplay. Sometimes, it's used as a desperate ploy to make the game feel longer. In general, this is going out of style recently as developers are realizing that the negative aspects are outweighing the Rule of Cool in the target demographic.

Unrelated to long-running Shounen anime.

Examples of Overly-Long Fighting Animation include:

Fighting Game

  • Though most hyper combos in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 are fairly short and to-the-point, normal combos can be absurdly long thanks to ground bounces, wall bounces, assist pickups, aerial crossovers, delayed hyper combos, and the infamous "DHC glitch", which completely resets hitstun and damage falloff, effectively doubling the possible length of the combo. These sorts of combos tend to be called "Cutscene Combos" and a skilled player can make them last as long as 30 seconds.
  • In Super Cosplay War Ultra, one of the characters has a Super Move where she changes into Kaworu from Neon Genesis Evangelion, hugs the opponent, then the hand of Eva-01 comes to reprise the final scene of episode 24, squishing the opponent in the process. Even if a human hand with a remote control comes to fast-forward the scene, it's quite annoying if repeated twice in a row.
    • Zenka's MAX Super also counts. It also hits for over half your health bar, so you can easily tell when you're dead and just waiting for Zenka finish already and let you die.
  • In the Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen ("Clash of Ninja" in English) games, characters special attacks often take a good few seconds of game time during which nobody could move and the background was darkened out. This can be quite annoying if you're playing a two on two fight with a friend:, every time your friend uses a special attack, your character and your opponent disappear and you have to sit and wait for your friend's attack to finish before you can pick up the fight in the second you left off.
  • Some players have complained that the KO screen and some characters' Ultra Combo animations in Street Fighter IV take too long. Super Street Fighter IV only looks to exacerbate that problem. Just look at Zangief's new ultra.
  • Castlevania Judgment got harsh criticism by several reviewers for its overly long special attacks (none of which can be skipped).
  • Evil Zone did this with some of the more powerful attacks. The length of the animation changed depending on when and how often you used it: first use would get about ten or twenty seconds, subsequent uses would be shortened to all of five seconds, and a use that would land the killing blow would take even longer.
  • The First Hokage's Ultimate Jutsu in Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3.
  • The Blaz Blue series has:
    • Astral Heats, One-Hit Kill moves with 10-20 seconds animations if they connect. Expect players online to Rage Quit while waiting for the Astral Finish animation to play out.
    • Bang's Fu-Rin-Ku-Zan Super Mode suspends gameplay for several seconds while Bang powers up and the BGM announces how awesome he is. Bang players in Calamity Trigger would frequently perform Fu-Rin-Ku-Zan after the match was over, simply to waste their opponents' time.

God Sim

  • Most of the time in the Black and White series, you really don't have to worry about uncontrollable cutscenes until you start or finish a quest scroll. This carries over into the sequel nicely. And then the Wonders start getting built... Although skipable after the first go-round, the first time one of these wonder-miracles goes off - or you get hit with a bug - prepare to sit there and watch every, last, frame of the siren rising up, speaking in creepily-lovey-dovey ways to your soldiers, sending out a swarm of MINI sirens who... seem quite fond of them, and your soldiers converting to enemy citizens. This also applies to the volcano miracle at the start and later in the game, fortunately not the earthquake or hurricane.

Hack And Slash

  • While it doesn't sound like much compared to other examples on this page, the Amazon's "Impale" attack in Diablo II can take as much as 6 seconds to complete. Problem is, this is a game in which most other melee characters are attacking at speeds of 2-5 attacks per second, and the game is balanced accordingly. Any Impale-based build requires a mercenary or summon to tank so her attacks don't get interrupted before she can land a hit.

Mecha Game

  • The Super Robot Wars series is another serious offender. Generally, the more powerful a mecha's attack is, the longer the animation takes. Most of them are pretty awesome, though, so it's not that annoying.
    • Evangelion's signature Unison Kick combination attack breaks game mechanics by lasting technically more than one turn (which is defined as 1 minute).
      • Note that while there are attacks that take even longer, the Unison Kick actually has a timer in the lower right of the screen that goes over a minute.
    • Another example is attack of the killer Bonta-kuns, what with the target being mobbed by a dozen mascot/power armor hybrids.
    • Any of GaoGaiGar's attacks takes more than twenty seconds, but Hell and Heaven, Dividing Driver and Goldion Hammer clock at more than 50 seconds each. Ironically, the actual anime is rather unique among for the ability to interrupt attacks.
    • Shin Getter Robo's Getter Change attack lasts almost that much, with 40 seconds (more in some versions).
      • Similarly, Murasame/Hayate/Mugen Liger's Consecutive Evolt lasts roughly a minute five with a Dynamic Kill.
    • Any of the Juddeca's attacks: Final Hell - Judecca breaks at a minute 10 seconds.
    • The Final Dynamic Special deserves special mention in combinations: every iteration is up to a minute or more, but that doesn't prevent it from being awesome, though. To be fair, it's basically at least 3 Super Robot doing their most powerful attack on one or more target/s. It is going to take some time.
    • The Valzacard's Exa Nova Shoot OVER. It gets worse when the Dynamic Kill animation is scored.
    • Super Robot Wars Original Generations takes this to an eleven by having nine robots attack a single target.
    • Super Robot Wars Z has the final attack of the final boss literally taking 1 minute 20 seconds to perform REALLY. Worse, at a certain point, it's his near constant counterattack.
    • Also Ein Soph Aur and End of the Galaxy.
      • Fortunately, most of the games in the franchise gives you the option to turn animations off entirely. However, this is utter heresy to any self-respecting Humongous Mecha Otaku. More recently, the console iterations have allowed players to double the animation speed during an attack by holding down a button.
    • Dark Brain anyone?
    • One of Uther's attacks.


  • Pretty irritating in the MMORPG Wizard 101, aside from the few spells that you actually enjoy watching endlessly. Each round of battle has up to four players and four baddies, and each of these can cast a spell which requires several seconds of animation.
    • All of this reminds me repeatedly just why they dropped automatic fight animations in Brigandine: Master Edition.
  • Perfect World runs into this with the later Wizard attacks. An example is the ultimate water spell, Black Ice Dragon Strike, which involves the character posing dramatically as a giant dragon made of pure water mana rises out of the ground and divebombs the opponent's head. It sounds like nothing, but the reason it's on the page is because they tried to get around it with the buff "Essential Sutra", which reduces all casting times to zero for a short period of time, but since the Wizard is the textbook definition of Glass Cannon and almost all of the later spells do even more ridiculous amounts of damage... Yeah.
  • The "snipe"-class attacks in City of Heroes have a reputation of taking so long to animate that most players either skip them entirely or use them strictly as battle-opening moves. Most of them clock in at around 4.5 seconds to animate — not long in an objective sense, but more than enough time for someone else to defeat your target.

Platform Game

  • Lampshaded in Psychonauts in Lungfishopolis, where the boss battle parodies various aspects of Godzilla- and Ultraman-style Japanese monster fights. The enemy announces the titles of each of his attacks as he prepares them, such as 'Overlyyy Intricaaate... COMBINATION!'
    • And "Hard to avooooiiiiiidddddd... AREA ATTACK!"

Role Playing Game

  • The Final Fantasy games tend to be serious offenders:
    • Though the animations didn't start getting minutes long until Final Fantasy VII, in Final Fantasy VI Kefka's Goner/Forsaken was about as proportionally long to the game's other attacks as Supernova was to the normal animations in VII, clocking in at approximately 20 seconds long when most other high tier spells animations were about 6 seconds long.
    • Knights of the Round, in Final Fantasy VII. If you equip the W-Summon materia as well (which lets you summon twice in a single turn), and summon Knights twice in a turn, you can leave the game running, go make a sandwich, and come back with time to spare.
    • Sadly, the game doesn't let you link Knights to the Quadra-Magic Materia, which casts or summons the linked Materia four times in a single turn, so you won't be able to leave it running and go cook dinner for your family. However, it does allow you to Quadra-summon Bahamut Zero, which isn't all that much shorter (54 seconds compared to KotR's 1:10.)
    • Sephiroth's ultimate attack, Super Nova, which is shown to destroy the solar system (by literally causing the sun to go Super Nova) every time he did it, clocks at 2 minutes and can't be canceled.
      • Interestingly, the original version of Supernova is only about 10 seconds long. This, however, resulted in it being pretty underwhelming for a Final Boss' Final Attack, which probably resulted in them changing it in the first place!
    • In Final Fantasy VIII you could use that time to empower Guardian Forces through Button Mashing, if you have the Boost skill. This doesn't make it any less annoying; thus, this was the last FF game with with no skippable animations. The animation time varied greatly between the different GFs, with the longest one going to Eden, an optional GF that would launch the unfortunate victim into the center of a spiral galaxy, and destroy that galaxy., rivaling Sephiroth's Super Nova attack animation in length. The animations of the other GFs generally ranged between 20 and 60 seconds.
    • Almost every summon in Final Fantasy IX, but each one had a shortened version that ran about 75% of the time after the first use (which was always the full animation). The reappearance of the longer animation meant that the attack would be more effective (offensive summons would do more damage, support summons would cause more positive status effects, etc). Ark in particular took so long that people didn't usually use it to cause damage - it was better to cast Regen on the party and let everyone heal while waiting the three minutes (ish) it takes for the giant Transformer to do its thing.
      • Interestingly, the Summoners in IX each got an ability, called "Boost" to make sure the longer animation played, so you could more reliably take advantage of the higher damage.
    • Every Aeon's overdrive in Final Fantasy X. Thankfully, the option to use shortened cutscenes existed.
      • Ultima's multiple explosions take about ten times as long as any other black magic spell, which is a nuisance given that you will likely doublecast it many, many times between unlocking it and reaching max level. They do look very cool the first five or six times...the next five or six thousand, less so.
    • You can shorten dressphere changes in Final Fantasy X 2, if you really want to.
      • However, you can't shorten the Aeon's overdrives when you fight them.
    • The Gaiden Game Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII has its share of really long summon animations. But they can be skipped. Nothing you can do about the Limit Breaks, though.
      • Even better, the summons were actual FMVs. The Limit Break animations were pretty short, though, thankfully.
    • In Final Fantasy XII, the Quickening animations provide you an opportunity to charge and queue other Quickenings, allowing massive combo attacks. Also, the Esper summoning animations are rather short in this game.
      • Although some of the Espers' special attacks do encompass things like destroying the fabric of reality when you read the descriptions.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII, Eidolons have relatively lengthy summoning and transformation scenes, but thankfully you can skip them. Their finishing attacks in Gestalt Mode however cannot be skipped, but considering how often you'll end up using them, they likely won't get too old. Every character also has a Full ATB Skill, although they are kept short and the action doesn't stop.
  • Valkyrie Profile, max level Nibelung Valesti.
    • VP was borderline on this with most finishing moves (noting a few exceptions). But Valkyrie Profile 2 had nearly every finishing move be like this (and twice as excessive power wise).
    • Covenant of the Plume takes the common-sense route and allows you to skip Soul Crush animations with the press of a button. Normal attacks are short and painless, and stringing them together is the core combat mechanic to begin with.
  • Legend of Legaia has the Juggernaut summon animation. More generally, the way combat in the Legaia series works is that the player inputs a series of high, low, left, or right side attacks with certain combos resulting is special attacks which can even be strung together. The higher a characters level the more attacks they can use in a single turn. While this is useful for dealing high amounts of damage, it also meant that you can catch up on your reading while going through the final dungeon.
  • Most attacks - especially special attacks and Mystech - in Anachronox. It's meant as parody, though. A lowly Mook with an assault rifle fires about six thousand bullets in such rapid fire that it creates a veritable waterfall of expended shells? Why not?
    • As further proof of the developers' light-hearted attitude, you could actually speed up the game, fast-forwarding over the acrobatics and camera trickery with the push of a button.
  • Piiirrraatteesss Wrraaattthh is a phrase most people who played Skies of Arcadia will have memorised, its the overpowered special move people use most in the game and has a flying through the air section before blowing up the enemy with his swords. All characters have equally odd special move videos but thankfully all can be skipped.
    • Given that she was damn near the fastest thing in the game, and quickly got enough power to wipe out most Random Encounters in one attack, many gamers are also familiar with: "Fire consume my enemies! Lambda Burst!"
      • Those two can at least be skipped if you press the button early-on in the animation. Prophecy, unfortunately, can't, nor can the bosses' lengthy attacks. Or the spells....
      • God. Sword of the Dark Moon. The annoyingly long, overly intricate signature move of the pre-One-Winged Angel final boss. And it does basically nothing. And he spams it incessantly.
    • "In dire need!" "We call for!" "The power!" "Of the ancients..." "To battle our foes!" Cue the characters flying through space, and moons falling to the earth.
  • Star Ocean the Second Story has a number of ultimate elemental spells that result in the battle pausing to display the animation. Normally this isn't a big deal. It becomes a big deal when the AI controlled characters use the spells over and over and over and over. In addition, one of starting character Rena's first spells, Magic Hammer, is entirely useless, is her favorite spell, and also stops the battle every time it's cast. Which, unless you prevent her from casting it at all, will be five or six times per battle.
    • Fortunately, the animation gets sped up the more you use it.
  • Both Golden Sun games have long animations on the more powerful summons late in the game, but luckily, they can all be skipped.
    • And unless you really enjoy Beating the A button to death, the Sol Blade's summon can get boring, fast. Not to mention that it's possible to have a setup that allows unleashing 100% of the time, as well as Sol Blade's unleash being the strongest non-summon attack in the game...
    • The third game, Golden Sun Dark Dawn, also have longer summon animations on the more powerful ones, which can be made all the faster by using the B button. The same applies to any of the weapons' Unleash effects.
  • The Tales series. Can you say Hi-Ougi / Mystic Arte? Around Tales of Destiny 2, when the concept became cemented, these killer moves went from being merely a very strong attack (Meikuu Zanshouken and Aurora Sword) to involving time freezing, character portraits, light shows, and excessively large areas and long combos.
    • Particularly notorious is Richter's in Tales of Symphonia Dawn of the New World, which he executes after claiming "Pain will only last an instant."
      • Another offender is Emil's, in the same game. The player can add 15 extra seconds of animation by triggering Ain Soph Aur. And then another 30 seconds if you're fighting Richter, as he counters it ! On the bright (?) side, Ain Soph Aur is completely underpowered and cost an arm to cast, so nobody ever uses it anyway.
  • In Planescape: Torment some of the high-level spells (Mechanus Cannon, Meteor Shower and especially Celestial Host) could have really long animations. The later involved a quadruple Summon Magic.
  • Chrono Cross has a few of these, especially the summons. However, this game is notable for including a fast forward button in New Game+, which makes fights much more enjoyable when you've seen all the animations anyway.
  • The attacks learned late in the games of the Xenosaga series. Particularly annoying are KOS-MOS's attacks, since chances are she'll be in your party most of the time. Being a robot, for several of her attacks she physically transforms herself, which takes quite a lot of time, and with her standing directly in front of the enemy for physical attacks, you wonder why the enemy sits there and waits for it.
    • In the first game, every attack could be this thanks to how long it took for characters to aim their weapon and attack. Shion could be a particularly bad offender in this regard.
    • Erde Kaiser's sequence in Episode 1 clocks in at 1 minute. It also adds up as a Transformation Sequence of a Combining Mecha.
    • The fights are fast-paced in Episode 3 compared to Episode 1. On the other hand, some special attacks can last a lot longer than others. Then there's the Erde Kaisers. Their sequences are a lot shorter than the original one, but Σ takes the cake by being the longest. It doesn't stop it from being awesome.
  • In Adventure Quest, the Nemesis Plate's battle animation takes an incredible eight seconds to preform. This may not seem long, but the game is turn-by-turn, using this attack builds up.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2 the magic animations took so long that your enemies would frequently be out of the blast radius before the spell struck. Even supposed 'instantaneous' spells like Magic Missile could be seen looping back and around to the target because of the silly animation. Not to mention the combat attacks took so long that many were done 'invisibly' for high level characters to make sure they happened inside the round.
  • Legend of Dragoon is like this, especially for Dragoon Magic. You can shorten most of the tranformation sequences, but none of the attack sequences.
  • Being an Affectionate Parody of Eastern RPGs, the Epic Battle Fantasy series has some of these. Luckily, they're fun to watch. Examples include:
    • The Catastrophe Summon in the first game.
    • Ion, a Summon in the second game and a Limit Break for Lance in the third game
    • Nuke, Used by Lance in both the second and third games. It's a Limit Break in the third game.
    • Natalie's Genesis Limit Break in the third game, in a Shout-Out to Neon Genesis Evangelion.
    • Matt's Limit Breaks are actually relatively short. The one that comes closest to this is Ragnarok, which is basically a shorter version of the Catastrophe summon from the first game that doesn't damage the player.
  • Mostly averted in Baten Kaitos, but inverted in the case of Savyna. Her attacks are always very fast, which means she burns through her combos faster than most players can select cards for her. She's probably the most difficult character to use.
    • Played irritatingly straight with the Dance King, a high-level enemy in Origins. Its Ring-Around-the-Rosy attack takes almost ten seconds to complete, which doesn't sound like much, but after going through 30+ hours of Origins' blazingly fast battle system, it seems like forever. Doesn't help that the attack itself hurts like hell.

Shoot Em Up

  • In Touhou Soccer Moushuuden, several characters possess cinematic shots. While most of those have a reasonable length, some are pretty long. Mima's Twilight Spark in particular, has a cinematic that lasts about fifty seconds, and that's not counting the actual shot that comes after the cinematic.

First Person Shooter

  • Assassinations in Halo: Reach just take too damn long. Smart players (except sometimes when they're winning by absurd amounts) just go for the beatdown. The only reward you get for sticking your neck out and potentially losing your kill? A few extra credits. Also, their humiliation, but that's already pretty implicit in getting beatdown anyway.

Sports Game

  • The Power Shots in Mario Power Tennis. Whenever they happen, all action freezes except the player who executed the shot. Gameplay only returns to normal just as the animation is about to end. You can't skip any of the animations, and what's worse, there are actually two types of Power Shots (offensive and defensive).
    • Waluigi's defensive move is a ridiculous time-drain. He somehow fills his entire side of the court with a shallow layer of water, so the tennis ball doesn't hit the ground, and then hits back. Also, the power shots are needless at least 90% of the time; usually if you have one, so does your opponent. If you do a defensive power shot, they'll follow up with an offensive one. If you do an offensive power shot, they'll follow up with either offensive or defensive depending on whether they can reach it.

Turn Based Strategy

  • Naturally, in a Shout-Out to Super Robot Wars, Battle Moon Wars also has its more powerful attacks running a bit too long
  • Suikoden II had Chaco, who's attack animation was about three times as long as everyone elses. Using him could waste hours in the long run.
    • Along with Sid, who used the same animation. However, given the way battle works in Suikoden II, it's entirely possible for their attacks to take just long enough for the round to long as everyone else is also just attacking.
  • Nippon Ichi games' attack animations tend to get longer and more over the top for spells and abilities that cost more MP; in a few of these games, the animation can be turned off either (or both) your party and the enemies'.
    • Some also allow for selective skipping of attacks, for those who enjoy seeing particular animations.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic 5, the Ranger's attack, a simple bow shot, can take several seconds to complete - the exact time based on what your combat animation speed is set to. This is a strategy game, so expect to use it every 20 seconds in combat if you play as the Elves.
  • Most attacks in Fire Emblem games are fairly quick, but some spells, especially dark spells, legendary tomes and anything used by a final or semi-final boss, take forever and involve vortexes, background changes and other nonsense, and can be used twice in a row if the defender has low speed and survives the first. Luckily, they can be turned off.

Wide Open Sandbox

  • Subverted in No More Heroes, when Letz Shake's "Disaster Blaster" Earthquake Generator goes through the long, fancy charging-up cinematic, and then just as it's about to fire, Henry appears out of nowhere and cuts Letz Shake and the Disaster Blaster to pieces.
    • Played straight with Henry's instant-kill move, thought it's pretty awesome to see anyway.

Non-video game examples:

Anime and Manga

  • Parodied in episode one of The Tower of Druaga - The Aegis of Uruk. "Soniiiiiiiiiiiiiii(30 seconds)iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiic BLADE!"
  • Ninin ga Shinobuden parodies this; episode 11 has Sasuke using his "special attack" on an ogre. It involves lots of posing, as well as Sasuke inexplicably flying through space while explaining the attack. Then Onsokumaru tells him to keep it shorts, at which point we find out what the end result of the attack is: the ogre getting stuffed in a pair of underwear filled with mustard.
  • Parodied in The Big O. Beck's latest creation began a lengthy attack prep, with flashing lights, yelling, and dramatic posturing... only for his opponent to whip out a machine gun and blast his pseudo-Megadeus into scrap metal in a few seconds.
  • In Dragonball Z, Piccolo's Special Beam Cannon at the start of the series takes five minutes to charge. Near the end of the series Super Saiyan 3 is introduced, which can take over ten minutes to use. Worst offender of the series would have to be the Spirit Bomb, which can take, in some uses, several episodes to complete!
  • In One Piece Jinbe's Karakusagawara Seiken. In the manga the shock wave took four pannels to take effect after throwing the punch, in the anime it almost a full minute.

Live Action TV


Western Animation

  • On Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the Mooninites (who look sort of like pixelated video-game people) have their ultimate attack, the Quad Laser. The Quad Laser (and its larger cousin, the Quad Glacier) creates a single giant pixel that moves at a snail's pace. This isn't really a cutscene, but it is a finishing move that takes a ridiculously long time.
    • And can be thwarted by the target simply stepping out of its path... unless the pixel bounces off something and hits the target in the back.